On Thursday July 13th, the Touhill Performing Arts Center played host to a one-night live production of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) Live: Watch Out for Snakes Tour. For many in the audience the show was a success in the first seconds of the production when Joel Hodgson walked onto the stage. Hodgson created the cult show in 1988, and was the driving force behind its triumphant return to Netflix earlier this year. Hodgson acted as the master of ceremonies, discussing the props used in the show and repeatedly thanking the crowd funding sponsors that helped bring the show back.
The show was the masterful spoofing of the 1962 horrible movie Eegah. With quirky and timely one liners and crowd pleasing songs, the threesome of Jonah Heston and his two robot pals, Crow and Tom Servo, made the horribly filmed and acted Eegah an enjoyable experience. However, the nature of MST3K is that the majority of the show is looking at the darkened silhouette of the cast as they watch the film, making it primarily a pre-recorded production that could have been just as easily enjoyed from your home. If you are a devout fan of the MST3K cult, the price of admission was worth every penny, but for casual fans, the next time it comes through, you can save yourself the cost of admission and watch an episode on Netflix.
The film that the crew watched and mocked was so poor that it is hard to believe that it was an actual theatrical release and even starred Richard Kiel in the title role, a long way from his role as the great 007 villain, Jaws. The movie’s acting was so poor as to be not just amateurish, but juvenile. The camera work was so shaky that the crew referred to it as an earthquake. The script was idiotic nonsense, and the directing was enough to make you wish Ed Wood had come in and taken over. In short, the movie Eegah is so pathetically horrible that you can almost feel sorry for it as the crew mercilessly mocked it. The key word being almost. The level of bad that Eegah hits makes it actually a good thing that MST3K was able to find it and make something worth while out of it. And their witty quips, delivered with Groucho Marx speed, made the night both fun and funny.